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2015 ANNUAL FIRE SAFETY AND SECURITY REPORT

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2015 ANNUAL FIRE SAFETY

AND SECURITY REPORT

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Table of Contents

A Message from the Chief of Police ...5

Introduction to the Clery Act ...7

Western Carolina University Police Department ...8

Mission, Values and Goals ...8

Working Relationship with State and Local Police ...9

Reporting Crimes and Other Emergencies ...10

Response to Reported Incidents ...10

Voluntary and Confidential Reporting ...10

Police TIPS Line ...11

Silent Witness Website ...11

Blue Light Phones ...11

Reporting to Other Campus Security Authorities ...11

Pastoral and Professional Counselors ... 12

Personal Security ... 12

Preparation for the 2015 Annual Fire Safety and Security Report ... 13

Timely Warnings ...14

Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures ...16

Western Carolina University Emergency Services Department ...16

Emergency Management at Western Carolina University ...18

Emergency Notifications to the Campus Community ...19

Confirming the Existence of a Significant Emergency ... 21

Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures ... 21

Drills, Exercises, and Training ...22

Exercising Emergency Response Plans ...22

Procedures to Notify the Campus Community ...22

Immediate Notification ...23

Informational Notification ...23

Status Update ... 24

Security and Access to University Facilities ...25

Special Considerations for Residence Hall Access ...25

Special Considerations for the Maintenance of Campus Facilities... 26

Campus Security Policies ...27

Behavioral Assessment Team ...27

Weapons Policy ...27

Workplace Violence ...27

Prohibited Employee Conduct ... 28

Employee Assistance Program... 28

Prohibited Student Conduct ... 29

Crime Prevention and Safety Awareness ...30

Department of Student Community Ethics ... 31

Western Carolina University Community Creed ... 31

Missing Student Notification Policy ... 31

Notice to Students about Notification Policy ...32

Registration of a Confidential Contact for Missing Person Contact ... 34

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Reporting an Incident ... 36

Defining Terms in Sexual Violence ...37

Procedures Victims should follow ... 38

Resources ... 38

Crime Victims’ Rights ... 38

On and Off Campus Resources ... 39

Policies and Procedures ... 39

Accommodations ...40 Victim Confidentiality ...40 Education Programs ...41 Title IX ... 45 Conduct Proceedings ...46 Notification of Violations ...46

Minor Violation Sanctions ...46

Sanctions Associated with Serious Violations ... 47

Protective Measures ... 47

Notification of Hearing ...48

Student Conduct Process ...48

Conduct Timeframes ...50

Western Carolina University Alcohol and Other Drug Policies ...52

Possession, Use, and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages ...52

Possession, Use, and Sale of Illegal Drugs ...52

Education and Prevention ...52

Possible Sanctions for Policy Violations ...53

Counseling and Rehabilitation ...53

Annual Disclosure of Crime Statistics ... 54

Definitions of Reportable Crimes ... 54

Definitions of Geography ... 56

Crime Statistics Chart ...57

Daily Fire and Crime Log ...60

North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry...60

On and Off Campus Resources ...61

Annual Fire Safety Report ...63

Fire Definitions ...63

Reporting Fires ...63

Fire Statistics ...64

Residence Hall Fire Drills ... 65

On Campus Student Housing Fire Systems ...66

Fire Safety ...66

Highlands Biological Station Housing Fire Alarm Systems ...67

Campus Student Housing Evacuation Procedures ...68

Fire Alarm Procedures ...69

Items Prohibited in Residence Halls ...69

Smoking in Residence Halls ...70

Fire Safety Training ...70

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A Message from the Chief of Police

On behalf of Western Carolina University, and the University Police Department I want to thank you for taking the time to review our Annual Fire Safety and Security Report. Western Carolina University Police Department, along with the Emergency Services Department, Emergency Medical Services, Safety and Risk Management, local Fire Departments, and our partner local law enforcement agencies are dedicated to serving the students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the Western Carolina University Campus.

We all share the goal of providing an environment where our students can pursue their college experience in a safe and secure

environment. Our most important partnership however, is with the campus community. Without their support, engagement, and effort we could not be successful. A truly safe campus can only be achieved through the cooperation of everyone. It is up to each one of us to help foster a secure and supportive environment at Western Carolina University, an environment where individuals can feel safe to visit, learn, work and live.

The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is a collaborative effort between the Western Carolina University Police Department, Division of Student Affairs, Department of Emergency Services, and the Safety & Risk Management Department. It contains information regarding statistical data, policies, Timely Warnings, Emergency Notifications, informational links, and other relevant information. We are hopeful that you find it helpful. While, the Western Carolina University statistics illustrate a very low crime rate, it is important for everyone to remember that we are not immune from criminal activity. As a community we are all responsible for and to each other to keep our campus community safe. Please feel free to contact the Western Carolina University Police Department at 828.227.7301 with any questions.

Sincerely,

Earnest R. Hudson, Jr. Chief of Police

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Introduction to the Clery Act

The 2015 Annual Fire Safety and Security report is intended to be used by students, faculty, staff, visitors, potential students and potential parents of Western Carolina University. The Annual Fire Safety and Security report is published each year by October 1st and located online at:

http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/campus-services-and-operations/university-police/clery-act/index.asp The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) was named in honor of Jeanne Clery who was tortured, raped, and murdered in her dorm room at Lehigh University in in 1986.

The Clery Act requires all postsecondary institutions participating in Higher Education Act’s Title IV student financial assistance programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. In order for Western Carolina University to comply with the Clery Act requirements the institution must:

 Collect, classify and count crime reports and crime statistics

 Issue campus alerts to provide the campus community with information necessary to make informed decisions about their health and safety

 Publish an annual security report containing safety- and security-related policy statements and crime statistics and distribute it to all current students and employees.

 Submit crime statistics to Department of Education each year by type and location

 Maintain a daily crime log of alleged criminal incidents that is open to the public

 Disclose missing student notification procedures that pertain to students residing in those residence hall facilities

 Keep a fire log that is open to public inspection.

 Publish an annual fire safety report containing policy statements as well as fire statistics associated with each on-campus student housing facility

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Western Carolina University Police

Department

The Western Carolina University Police Department is a full-service agency that is available 24 hours a day, throughout the year and works towards building partnerships with the university community to provide a safer environment. Western Carolina University encourages all students, faculty, staff, community members and guests to report accurately and promptly any crimes or public safety related incidents to the University Police.

To report a crime or an emergency on the Western Carolina University campus, call Western Carolina University Police Department at 828.227.8911. To report a non-emergency or public safety related matter, call Western Carolina University Police Department at 828.227.7301. All criminal incidents are investigated by the Western Carolina University Police Department on the campus of Western Carolina University.

Western Carolina University Police Officers are required to complete a minimum of over 700 hours of training at a regional police academy and pass a statewide examination to become certified as a police officer in the state of North Carolina. Additionally, Western Carolina University officers meet and usually exceed the annual in-service training requirements for police officers.

Western Carolina University Police officers are certified under the North Carolina General Statue 116-40.5 and have the same authority as municipal and county law enforcement officers in North Carolina, being authorized to carry firearms and empowered to make arrests.

Western Carolina University Police

Department Mission, Values, and Goals

Our Mission

As members of the WCU Police Department our mission is to provide professional community-oriented police service.  We are committed to creating and maintaining an active community partnership and assisting the community in identifying and solving problems to improve the quality of lives on our campus. We are dedicated to protecting life, property, and maintaining order while assuring fair and equal treatment to everyone.  We respect the cultural and ethnic diversity of our University.

Our Values

We are capable, caring people doing important and satisfying work for the citizens of our community.  Therefore, we respect, care about, trust and support each other.  We enjoy our work and take pride in our accomplishments.  We are disciplined and reliable.  We keep our perspective and sense of humor.  We balance our professional and personal lives.  We involve our community in decisions that we make. 

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We have a positive, can do attitude.  We cultivate our best characteristics:  initiative, enthusiasm, creativity, patience, competence, and judgment.  We do nothing to discredit or dishonor ourselves or our department.

Our Vision

The WCU Police Department is a proactive police agency dedicated to excellence through quality community service.  We insure quality community service through accountability to each other and the citizens, who are the source of our authority. We maintain the quality professionalism of employees through training, development, and education for personal and professional growth with a constant emphasis on innovation and improvement.

Working Relationship with State and Local Police

The Western Carolina University Police maintains a cooperative relationship with the surrounding police agencies.

North Carolina General Statutes 90-95.2 and 160A-288, permit the head of any law enforcement agency to enter an agreement with the head of another law enforcement agency to temporarily provide assistance in enforcing the laws of North Carolina if so requested in

writing by the requesting agency.

In order to secure assistance during law enforcement emergency, the Western Carolina University Police Department has entered into written mutual aid agreements with the following law enforcement agencies:

 Jackson County Sheriff’s Department

 Sylva Police Department

 Macon County Sheriff’s Department

 The 17 Universities that comprise the North Carolina University System

Additionally, the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Alcohol Law Enforcement Division, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation have jurisdiction on our campus and work closely with Western Carolina University Police. Western Carolina University also monitors and records through local police agencies, criminal activity at off-campus student organizations which are recognized by the institution and that are engaged in by students attending the institution, including those student organizations with off-campus housing facilities.

PARTNERS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT

Jackson County Sheriff’s Department

828.586.4355

Sylva Police Department

828.586.2916

North Carolina

Highway Patrol

828.298.4253

North Carolina State

Bureau of Investigation

828.685.3600

Alcohol Law Enforcement

828.670.5055

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Reporting Crimes and Other Emergencies

Western Carolina University has a number of ways for campus community members and visitors to report crimes, serious incidents, and other emergencies to appropriate University officials. It is critical for the safety of the entire campus community that you immediately report all incidents to the University Police Department promptly to ensure an effective investigation and appropriate follow-up actions, including issuing a Crime Alert, Timely Warning or emergency notifications.

To reach the Western Carolina University Police Department in an emergency, call 828.227.8911. Members of the campus community are encouraged to store 828.227.8911 into their cell phones.

Response to Reported Incidents

In the event of a reported crime or emergency, there will be a public safety response to your location and the Western Carolina University Police will take appropriate action. All reported crimes will be investigated by the Western Carolina University Police on the property of Western Carolina University and at its discretion may conduct further investigation into the initial report.

Voluntary and Confidential Reporting

If you are the victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the University System or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information, Western Carolina University can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to a potential danger. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in Western Carolina University’s Annual Fire Safety and Security report.

University Police encourages anyone who is the victim or witness to any crime to promptly report the incident to the police. It is important to note that the TIPS Line and Silent Witness reporting systems are not monitored at all times and should not be utilized for crimes in progress. Police reports are public records under state law, and the University Police cannot hold reports of crime in confidence. Victims or witnesses may make confidential

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reports on a voluntary basis for the purpose of inclusion in the Annual Fire Safety and Security report by one of the following methods:

Police TIPS Line - 828.227.TIPS (8477)

The TIPS line is an unmonitored telephone line that allows the caller to leave a recorded message. Since the TIPS line is unmonitored, it should not be used to report crimes-in-progress. When leaving a message, the caller should be prepared to give as much information as possible about the person, vehicle, or situation. The caller does not have to leave his or her name.

Silent Witness Web Site

The Silent Witness web site allows a user to send an e-mail message to the Police Department. The message does not capture the sender’s e-mail address; therefore, the message is submitted anonymously. When sending a message, the caller should be prepared to give as much information as possible about the person, vehicle, or situation. It is optional if the sender wishes to provide his or her name and contact information. To access the Silent Witness website please follow: https://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/campus-services-and-operations/university-police/crime-report/silent-witness-submit-an-anonymous-report.asp

Blue Light Phones

Western Carolina University has blue light emergency phones throughout the campus. Emergency phones provide direct voice communications to the Western Carolina University Emergency Communications Center. These phones should be used to report suspicious activity, crimes in progress, or any emergency situation.

Reporting to Other Campus Security Authorities

While Western Carolina University prefers that community members promptly report all crimes and other emergencies directly to the University Police Department 828.227.8911, we also recognize that there will be reports to other individuals or University offices. The Clery Act recognizes certain University officials as “Campus Security Authorities (CSA).” The Act defines these individuals as “official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings. An official is defined as any person who has the authority and the duty to take action or respond to particular issues on behalf of the institution.” Western Carolina University CSAs must immediately verbally report via telephone at 828.227.8911 information about potential crimes, including Clery Crimes, to the University Police Department for investigation, if possible, and potential inclusion in the Annual Fire Safety and Security report. CSAs who are unsure whether an incident is a Clery crime should report it. All documentation of a crime report shall be preserved pursuant to federal, state and local law as well as University policy.

Western Carolina University Campus Security Authorities receive annual training and can assist victims in notifying law enforcement and accessing resources. CSA’s will notify Western Carolina University Police Department of any Clery crime committed in Western Carolina University Clery geography.

Designated staff from the following functional areas are included in the Clery Coordinator’s list of CSAs:

 University Police;

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 Health Services staff;

 Emergency services staff;

 Counseling and Psychological Services staff;

 Advisors to Recognized Student Organizations;

 Intercultural Affairs staff;

 Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and other Student Affairs professional staff designated by the Vice Chancellor;

 Athletic Director and all Athletic Department staff;

 Building coordinators;

 Director of Highlands Biological Station;

 Director of Cherokee Center;

 Director of WCU Programs at Biltmore Park;

 Advisors to club sports;

 Student Success staff, including:

o Disability Services staff;

o Advising Center staff;

o Tutoring Center staff;

o Registrar/One Stop staff;

o First Year Experiences staff; and

o Academic Success Programs staff

 Deans, Associate/Assistant Deans and their administrative staff;

 International Programs and Services staff;

 Academic advisors/student support specialists in the colleges;

 Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs;

 Center for Service Learning staff; and

 Career Services staff.

Pastoral and Professional Counselors

Western Carolina University does not employ or otherwise utilize the services of anyone described as a Pastoral Counselor. All Professional Counselors employed by Western Carolina University are not exempt from the compliance requirements of the Clery Act.

Personal Security

Western Carolina University takes great pride in the community and offers students, faculty and staff many advantages. This community is a great place to live, learn, work and study, however, this does not mean that the campus community is immune from all of the other unfortunate circumstances that arise in other communities.

Though Western Carolina University is progressive with its policies, programs, and education, it is up to each one of us to live with a sense of awareness and use reasonable judgment when living, working or visiting on campus. We encourage everyone to be vigilant and watch out for themselves and their neighbors.

The Western Carolina University Police Department can provide information and training on a variety of crime prevention topics such as personal safety, identity theft, and disaster preparedness. If you or your organization would like to request a specific program, please contact the University Police at 828.227.3059.

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Preparation for the 2015 Annual Fire Safety and Security Report

The 2015 Annual Fire Safety and Security Report was prepared and submitted by the University Clery Coordinator to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Crime Statistics Act using information maintained by the University Police, information provided by other University offices such as Student Affairs, Residence Life, and other Campus Secu rity Authorities and information provided by local law enforcement agencies surrounding the main campus.

This report provides statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned, leased or controlled by Western Carolina University.

Western Carolina University distributes a notice of the availability of this Annual Security and Fire Safety Report by October 1 of each year to every member of the University community. Anyone, including prospective students and employees, may obtain a paper copy of this report by contacting the University Police at 828.227.7301 or visiting the website police.wcu.edu

The University Clery Coordinator is located at the Police Department at 114 East University Way, Cullowhee, NC, 28723 and can be reached at 828.227.3208.

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Timely Warnings

In an effort to provide timely notice to the campus community in the event of a significant criminal incident that may pose a serious or ongoing threat to members of the community, the University Police issues “timely warnings.” The University Police will generally issue timely warnings for crimes that occur within Western Carolina University’s Clery Geography and post these warnings through the University’s email system to students, faculty, and staff. To view current and archived timely warnings please visit the University Police website: http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/campus-services-and-operations/university-police/crime-statistics/timely-warning-and-notification.asp

The purpose of these timely warnings is to notify the campus community of the incident and to provide information that may enable community members to protect themselves from similar incidents. A timely warning will be decided on a case-by-case basis in light of all the facts surrounding a crime, including factors such as the nature of the crime, the continuing danger to the campus community, and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts. The amount and type of information that will be disseminated will vary depending on the circumstances of the crime. Such crimes include, but are not limited to: 1) Clery Act crimes that are reported to any campus security authority, Western Carolina University police or local police; or 2) the University determines that the incident represents an on-going threat to the campus community. Western Carolina University Police may decide not to issue a timely warning if it is determined that one or more of the following factors outweigh any potential danger to the members of the campus community.

 The suspect is apprehended or other facts indicate that a danger has passed and it is unlikely to reappear;

 The timely warning would likely identify the victim

 A report is not filed or University Police is not notified in a manner that would allow for a “timely” warning

Additionally, Western Carolina University Police may, in some circumstances, issue safety advisories. When a situation is not an emergency or does not pose an immediate threat to the campus community, but is of significant interest to campus, the University may issue an informational message in the form of a Safety Advisory or General Preparedness message. The intent is to make the campus community aware by providing information about a situation such as a crime or series of crimes that has been committed off campus, the potential for inclement weather, flooding, or a major utility disruption.

 In these situations, the University communicates by sending a campus-wide email message to students, staff, and faculty to keep the University community informed.

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 Notification of an unexpected change in traffic pattern due to a dangerous situation or crime investigation,

 Preparedness information – severe weather

 Other important information that, in the judgment of Responsible University Authorities, would enhance safety for the campus community,

 Informational notifications will be issued by email.

The Chief of University Police or his designee will make the determination if a timely warning or safety advisory is required or needed. For incidents involving off-campus crimes, the University may issue a timely warning if the crime occurred in a location used and frequented by the University population. Anyone with information regarding criminal activity or information that could warrant a timely warning should report the circumstances to the University Police immediately by phone at 828.227.8911.

If the University Police Department or Department of Emergency Services determines that a “significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of the students or employees” exists then the WCU Alert system and Emergency Notification Systems are activated and an emergency notification sent out to the campus community. Emergency notifications will follow this chapter, if Western Carolina University issues an emergency notification adequate follow-up information will be provided as well.

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Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

Western Carolina University is committed to a creating and maintaining culture of safety. Western Carolina University has many strategies in place to promote a safe environment and respond to emergencies. The office of Emergency Services also asks you to do your part in preparing for and responding to an actual incident.

Emergency Services Department at Western Carolina University

The Western Carolina University Emergency Services Department is responsible for developing and implementing institution-wide programs and projects that promote safety, disaster planning, training, mitigation, response, prevention and recovery for all hazards and emergencies that affect the Western Carolina University campuses. Emergency Services work in close partnership with other Western Carolina University public safety departments, such as University Police, University EMS, and University Safety and Risk Management to promote a safe and disaster resilient institution. The mission of the office is to provide a comprehensive safety, security, and emergency management program for Western Carolina University in order to save lives, protect property, promote continuity of operations, and reduce the overall effects of large scale disasters. Western Carolina University uses an integrated approach to safety, security, and preparedness on campus and in the surrounding community, coordinating a network designed to provide a safe environment, to prevent problems before they occur, to respond swiftly and effectively when problems arise and to maintain essential services and business operations after a serious incident.

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Western Carolina Unive

rsity

Office of Emergency Manage

ment

Student Preparedness Ch

ecklist

I know the telephone number, 828-227-7640, and how to get to Health Services

if I get sick.

I have an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, a w

eather radio, fresh batteries, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, and other items. A listing of essential ki

t items is available at: http://www.ready.gov

Office of Emergency Management

Phone (828) 227-3445|FAX (828) 227-7331 | Student signed up to recieve WCU Alerts through My Cat!

Parents/Guardians may sign up to recieve WCU Alerts at: https://www.getrave.com/login

/wcu I have programmed Campus Emergency and WCU

Police Department phone numbers into my phone.

828-227-8911 (emergency) 828-227-7301 (non-emergency)

My roommates and/or close friends know how to contact my

family or other emergency contact. My parents know how to contact my roommates and/or close

friends in case of emergencies.

I have an entry in my cell phone labeled ICE (In Case of Emergency) so t

hat police/fire/EMS can contact my emergency contact if I cannot spe

ak.

I know more than one way to get out of every building where I have class

es, activities, or live. If one exit is blocked, I can get out of the building us

ing a different exit. I am familiar with the fire exits in my home and in the buildings in which I ha

ve classes.

I know where to shelter in place in case of severe weather such as a tornad o. For a severe weather shelter area, I should avoid:

windows and areas where there might be flying glass, exterior walls, rooms with high ceilings such a

s auditoriums, and I should try to get to one of the lowest levels in the building.

When I go out at night, I have a plan on how I will get home. I have friends that I can call to pick me up if I get s

tuck at a party or location where I feel uncomfortable. My roommates/friends know wher

e I am going and the people I am with.

For additional information, see the “Student Preparedness Inf

ormation

link on Emergency Preparedness web site.

I know the contact information and housing staff for my residence

hall, including my Resident Assistant, Resident Director/Assistant Resident Director

and other staff in case there is an emergency or other problem.

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Emergency services oversee the campus wide CCTV system, emergency notification systems (outdoor siren, texting, computer desktop emergency pop-up, etc.), emergency callboxes, campus wide two-way radio system, and computer aided dispatch and public safety records management systems. The unit also coordinates with the Western Carolina University Police Department to provide facility threat and vulnerability assessments and crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) services.

The Western Carolina University Emergency Communications Center (ECC) provides a wide variety of both emergency and non-emergency communications services to the campus, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.

The ECC is responsible for answering emergency and non-emergency calls for service, dispatching these calls, initiating Police and EMS responses, and coordinating with the Jackson County 911 Center for fire department and advanced life support EMS services. In addition to traditional emergency and non-emergency calls for the service, the ECC receives calls from elevator phones, outdoor emergency call boxes; residence hall emergency calls boxes, and monitors various campus systems for security and fire alarms, dispatching appropriate resources for each. The ECC also provides call taking and dispatching services to a number of other campus departments, consistently prioritizing different levels of communications. Aside from WCU PD and EMS, the Emergency Communications Center processes after hours calls for service for: Counseling and Psychological Services, Parking Services, Facilities, and Cat Tran.

The Emergency Services Department is comprised of three units; Emergency Management, Emergency Communications & Public Safety Systems, and the Emergency Communications Center (ECC). We can be contacted at 828-227-3206 (non-emergency) or 828-227-8911 (emergency). For additional information on the Emergency Services Department, please visit the Emergency Information webpage at http:// emergency.wcu.edu.

Emergency Management at Western Carolina University

The WCU Emergency Management unit oversees the emergency operations and planning activities on the Western Carolina University Campus. The unit is tasked with oversight of the University’s All Hazards Emergency Operations Plan, coordinating departmental business continuity and building emergency action plans, and coordinating activities of campus and local first responders during a crisis on campus. Our goal is to provide a means to utilize all available resources to prepare for potential emergencies or disasters whenever possible, respond to save lives and protect property, and promote a means to recover mission critical business and academic operations.

During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, Emergency Management completed many activities and projects that have better prepared the campus community and visitors for all types of emergencies and disasters. Emergency management personnel coordinate regularly with local, regional, and state partners to improve plans, collaborate on projects, sponsor training and exercise opportunities that enhance skills and strengthen relationships. This was accomplished by hard working staff, volunteer interns, tireless collaboration, and strong partnerships! The Emergency Services Department is fortunate to have a network of expert professionals at the campus, local, regional and state level working to enhance campus preparedness, mitigate crisis & disaster impacts, and plan for recovery, if and when, an emergency or disaster happens.

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Emergency Notifications to the Campus Community

For any emergency or dangerous situation on campus that may cause an immediate threat to the health and safety of students and/or employees, all members of the Western Carolina University campus community are asked to immediately notify the University Police Department and Public Safety Department by calling 828.227.8911.

Western Carolina University Emergency Services, Police Department, and the Department of Public Relations hold joint responsibility for issuing emergency notifications to the campus community. If the University Police Department or Department of Emergency Services determines that a “significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of the students or employees” exists then the WCU Alert system is activated and an emergency notification sent out to the campus community.

In an emergency, Western Carolina University Public Safety offices use multiple methods of communication and notification systems to keep the campus community informed. Notifications provide the community with information about the nature of the emergency, evacuation and/ or sheltering instructions, direction on what actions you should be taking, and the all-clear when the situation has been resolved.

The following systems make-up the Western Carolina University Alert System:

 RAVE

o RAVE allows students, faculty, staff, and parents to receive voice, text, and email message in case of emergency.

Register for WCU Alerts today: https://www.getrave.com/login/wcu

 Outdoor Siren System

The outdoor siren system alert means there is an emergency on campus, a potentially dangerous condition or an impending threat (i.e. severe weather, hazardous materials spill, or a person with a gun). When the siren sounds, everyone on the Western Carolina University campus should take shelter indoors immediately. Close all windows and doors, if possible, and remain sheltered until an “all clear” is given. Check the University Emergency Information Web Page for updates. http://news-prod.wcu.edu/

 Alertus Computer Pop-up Emergency Notification

The Alertus computer desktop emergency notification system allows Western Carolina University Public Safety to send emergency notifications and updates directly to staff, faculty, and classroom computers during an emergency. Additional information on Alertus can be found at http://thereporter.wcu. edu/2013/07/new-desktop-emergency-notification-system-to-be-tested-on-campus-aug-2/

 Campus Email

o This system will send an email to the entire campus community – every student, faculty or staff member through their WCU mailbox.

 Emergency Information Web Page

o In the event of an emergency, this page will provide the most current information on the nature of the emergency and the university’s response to the situation. http://news-prod.wcu.edu/ emergency-information/

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All WCU Alert text messages will contain at minimum the following information, in this order:

 Nature of the incident

 Location

 Actions to be taken by affected populations

Based on the description, content, and location of the emergency, the appropriate segment or segments of the campus community will be notified.

When Western Carolina University confirms that there is a significant emergency or a dangerous situation exists Western Carolina University will, without delay, take into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system. If in the professional judgment of Western Carolina University Emergency Services or Police Department that a notification will compromise the efforts to assist a victim or mitigate the emergency, an emergency notification may not be issued.

Western Carolina University Alert SMS messages generated via these protocols will follow formatting consistent with RAVE system characteristics. Therefore, regardless of channel used, WCU Alert messages generated via these protocols will use the same message of no more than 160 characters for all message systems.

Outdoor siren system and PA speakers, are pre-recorded; therefore, voice messages will not include the location of the emergency. They will only provide the nature of the emergency and the recommended actions. Rely on other sources such as email and the emergency information homepage http://news-prod. wcu.edu/emergency-information to provide detailed incident specific information.

Additional or subsequent messaging via Western Carolina University Alert channels (not constrained by technical limitations related to SMS) may use additional characters, as appropriate, to convey more information. As soon as possible following the issuance of an emergency message, the WCU Emergency Information web page will contain additional and/or supplemental information about the alert and/or the

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incident. These will provide instructions for:

 Obtaining additional detailed information if university programs and/or services are interrupted,

 Receiving additional updates and information; and/or,

 Reporting information to the public.

Confirming the Existence of a Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situation and Initiating the Emergency Notification System

The process for activating the Western Carolina University Alert protocols begins when a threat or emergency situation is reported to the Western Carolina University Emergency Communications Center (ECC) or to another Responsible University Authority. For confirmed threats or emergency situations that require immediate or urgent notification, the ECC Telecommunicator or University Police Senior Officer On-duty or another Responsible University Authority will authorize the emergency notification. It should be noted that for the majority of emergency threats and incidents at the WCU campus, the first notice of the situation will most likely be via an incoming call to the Western Carolina University Emergency Communications Center (ECC). In the event of a threat or emergency in which the University Police Senior Officer On-duty is not yet at the incident and/or for which specialized technical knowledge is required, another Responsible University Authority may confirm the threat and authorize the Western Carolina University Alert. The Responsible University Authority will call the Dispatch Center and authorize the Telecommunicator to issue the message. If the Responsible University Authority is trained in and has direct access to the Alert interface, the Responsible University Authority may issue the message. For weather emergencies like a tornado warning, the ECC Telecommunicator is authorized to issue the notification with confirmed National Weather Service Alerts that impact the Cullowhee Campus and immediate surrounding area.

Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

Western Carolina University and its business operations are susceptible to emergencies such as natural disasters, severe weather, and man-made hazards. Western Carolina University’s All Hazards

Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is maintained by the Emergency Services Department and employs an approach of prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery from any emergency. The Emergency Operations Plan is designed to assist university officials with coordinating, communicating, and managing crises that affect campus employees, students, customers, visitors, neighbors, contractors, and facilities. The emergency preparedness program consists of plans, training, drills and exercises, acquiring equipment, equipping facilities, and interfacing with Federal, State, and local agencies in developing and maintaining emergency response capabilities.

In a crisis situation, the University will activate the designated Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC will serve as the central location for those designated to work on public information, logistics, operations, planning, finance, and administrative issues related to the on-going emergency.

Western Carolina University Emergency Services Department has collaborated with Facilities Management and Academic Affairs Construction Management Program to update building evacuation

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plans and procedures for each campus facility to ensure compliance with Clery requirements. – This is a multi-year initiative that started in the fall of 2014 and will continue through 2016.

Drills, Exercises, and Training

Training and exercise are essential to demonstrating and improving the ability of Western Carolina University Alert protocols, and the most effective methods for implementing the Emergency Alerts. Periodic exercise ensures that equipment and procedures are maintained in a constant state of readiness. Testing the WCU Alert technology may help identify issues and determine functionality before an emergency occurs.

Western Carolina University Alert will be tested monthly to confirm that all functions operate properly. The monthly test will activate the outdoor siren system and a predefined test group for Alert email, SMS text, voice message, and computer desktop pop-up.

Staff with responsibilities to issue WCU Alerts (operators) receives initial training on the emergency notification protocols and process. Operators will conduct silent practice of the system at least quarterly. University executives will be briefed on the Emergency Alert system. On an ongoing basis, staff and leadership will be trained and exercised on WCU Alert and will be informed when WCU Alert protocols or system characteristics or capabilities are updated.

Supervisors of “operators” will verify that the quarterly practices are conducted by each operator and verification of this activity must be kept on file by the “operators” supervisor.

WCU recognizes that trained staff may not be available in an emergency to perform their function under the WCU Alert protocols and has committed to cross-training staff on responsibilities. New staff with WCU Alert roles will be trained on the system and protocols as they assume their positions.

For the security of the WCU Alert System, supervisors of operators must immediately notify the Emergency Manager when an operator leaves university employment so that their permissions to activate the WCU Alert System are removed.

Exercising Emergency Response Plans

Effective emergency response is predicated upon planning and practice. Western Carolina University conducts training and exercises to familiarize campus officials, staff, faculty, and first responders with emergency procedures. On June 1, 2015 Western Carolina University had a critical incident response table top exercise. This table top included many critical roles within the University system as well as outside partners.

In addition, the Emergency Operations Center is established and utilized for every home football game, Mountain Heritage Day, Move In weekend, and various concerts throughout the calendar year.

Procedures Used to Notify the Campus Community

The process for activating the WCU Alert protocols begins when a threat or emergency situation is reported to the WCU ECC or to another Responsible University Authority. There are three levels of notifications under WCU Alert. These are Immediate, Status Update/ All Clear, and Informational.

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Immediate Notification

An Immediate Notification to the campus is made when WCU PD, WCU Emergency Manager, or another Responsible University Authority has confirmedthat an emergency situation poses an immediatethreat to life safety or security of the campus population. The WCU Emergency Manager, WCU Police Chief, WCU PD Senior Officer On-duty, or another Responsible University Authority is authorized to make an Immediate Notification to provide alert, warning and safety or protection instructions. Immediate Notifications shall be issued without delay and take into account the safety of the community.

However, the WCU Emergency Manager, WCU Police Chief, WCU PD Senior Officer On-duty, or other Responsible University Authority also has the authority not to authorize an Immediate Notification to the campus if issuing the message will create a more serious emergency and/or compromise the University’s efforts to contain the emergency. If the Responsible University Authority makes a decision not to authorize an alert, he or she must notify and consult with the Police Chief and/or Senior Officer On-duty and/or Emergency Manager as applicable.

As necessary, the Police Chief and/or Emergency Manager notifies the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance of the situation, notifications authorized/issued (or not authorized/issued), and any other actions taken.

If, at any time, the WCU ECC Telecommunicator or other operator is given conflicting instructions, the operator will contact the WCU Police Chief or WCU Emergency Manager to de-conflict the messages and/or clarify the instructions.

Informational Notification

When a situation is not an emergency or does not pose an immediate threat to the campus community, but is of significant interest to campus, the University may issue an informational message in the form

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of a Safety Advisory or General Preparedness message. The intent is to make the campus community aware by providing information about a situation such as a crime or series of crimes that has been committed off campus, the potential for inclement weather, flooding, or a major utility disruption. In these situations, the University communicates by sending a campus-wide email message to students, staff, and faculty to keep the University community informed.

 Notification of a particular crime pattern,

 Notification of an unexpected change in traffic pattern due to a dangerous situation or crime investigation,

 Preparedness information – severe weather

 Other important information that, in the judgment of Responsible University Authorities, would enhance safety for the campus community,

 Informational notifications will be issued by email Status Update/All Clear Notification

A Status Update is made when there is new information or instructions for the campus population; it may provide an update on the situation or change in protective actions. An All Clear Notification indicates that the emergency has been contained. Status Update and All Clear Notifications should be timed such that SMS messages do not overlap. Status Update and All Clear Notifications are authorized by the person who has incident command, which may be the Senior Officer On-duty, WCU Police Chief, or other Responsible University Authority. The WCU PD Telecommunicator is authorized to issue an All Clear notification when a Tornado Warning is lifted.

Notifications to parents/guardians may occur and shall be coordinated by Public Affairs in conjunction with Student Affairs.

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Security of and Access to University Facilities

It is desirable to have campus facilities open and available to serve their intended purposes. At the same time, the University has important responsibilities for the safety of persons and the safekeeping of property within its buildings. A responsible balance must be drawn between concerns for accessibility and security.

Monday through Friday academic buildings are to be vacated and locked by Physical Plant custodians when custodial services are completed, generally between 11 p.m. and midnight; they are to remain locked until Physical Plant housekeeping personnel open the buildings at approximately 7 a.m. the following morning. On Saturday, housekeeping personnel will unlock the academic buildings by 8 a.m.; they will be re-locked at approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday and remain locked until Monday morning.

Exceptions for building hours can be made but must be approved by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance. The exceptions for Western Carolina University are the Belk Building, Fine and Performing Arts Center, and the Coulter Building, special arrangements have been made for monitoring by staff members, faculty members, or graduate students. Opening and closing times also vary on some multi-use buildings such as Hunter Library, the Student Media Center, Hinds University Center, Campus Recreation Center and Reid and Breese gymnasiums.

University Police Officers periodically check exterior doors to campus buildings, and periodically patrol inside buildings. Students, faculty, and staff members should not remain in academic or administrative buildings during “closed” hours.

Special Considerations for Residence Hall Access

All residence halls are locked twenty-four hours of a day and operate under a computerized Access Control System. Identification or cat cards are coded so that only students who are residents in a particular hall are authorized electronic access entry to that hall; the system denies entry to all unauthorized persons.

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Only residents and their invited guests are permitted in the living areas of the residence halls. It is the resident’s responsibility to ensure that his/her guest are aware of the University and residence hall policies. Guests are not provided with room keys or door access cards.

Please remember that security is breached if doors to residence halls are propped open. Additionally, opening the door to the residence hall for another person defeats the purpose of a computerized access control system.

Special Considerations for the Maintenance of Campus Facilities

WesternUniversity is committed to campus safety and security. Locks, landscaping and outdoor lighting are designed for safety and security. Sidewalks are designed to provide well-traveled, lighted routes from parking areas to buildings and from building to building.

Facilities Management is responsible for providing and maintaining the campus’s exterior lighting and observes standard foot-candle specifications which is the unit used to measure the amount of light hitting a surface from 30 degrees above the horizontal plane of the surface. It is equal to the amount of light 1 foot away from the surface being lit by a candle.

Facilities Management personnel identify and trim trees and shrubbery that interfere with lighting. In planting and maintaining shrubbery around the buildings and near thoroughfares, our grounds crews try to preserve lines-of-sight for pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

We encourage community members to promptly report any security concern, including concerns about lighting, landscaping, hazardous conditions to the University Police Department at 828.227.7301 or Facilities Management at 828.227.7442

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Campus Security Policies

In addition to the many programs offered by the University Police and other University offices, the University has established a number of policies and procedures related to ensuring a reasonably safe campus community. These policies include:

Behavioral Assessment Team

The WCU Behavioral Assessment Team (“BAT”) is composed of a core group of multi-disciplinary professionals who will analyze potentially threatening situations and advise administrators as to recommended courses of action to mitigate risk to the campus.  The co-coordinators will make preliminary assessments of potentially threatening situations and, if warranted, convene the BAT. 

The Director of Human Resources shall convene the BAT for employee related issues and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs shall convene the BAT for student related issues.  The co-coordinator who convenes the BAT shall serve as Chair of the BAT for that meeting/issue.  When the BAT is convened to discuss an employee, the Director of Human Resources shall include University Policy, Counseling and Psychological Services and/or the Department of Psychology, and others as may be appropriate in the judgment of the Director of Human Resources, including the Emergency Manager and representatives from the Division, Department or Office involved. 

When the BAT is convened to discuss a student, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs shall include University Police, Counseling and Psychological Services and/or the Department of Psychology and others as may be appropriate in the judgment of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, including the Emergency Manager and representatives from the Division of Academic Affairs.    The Legal Counsel Office shall provide legal counsel to the BAT.

The Director of Human Resources can be contacted at 828.227.7218 and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs can be contacted at 828.227.7234. For more information on the Behavioral Assessment Team or Campus/Workplace Violence Prevention and Management please refer to University policy 109 at: http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/leadership/office-of-the-chancellor/university-policies/numerical-index/ university-policy-109.asp

Weapons Policy

It is the policy of Western Carolina University to provide a safe and secure working and learning environment in furtherance of its mission and in compliance with North Carolina law pertaining to the possession of Weapons on its property.

For more information on Western Carolina University’s weapons policy please refer to University policy 91 at:

http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/leadership/office-of-the-chancellor/university-policies/numerical-index/ university-policy-91.asp

Work Place Violence

Western Carolina University seeks to provide a safe and secure working and learning environment. Violence, threats, intimidation and possession of unauthorized weapons are inconsistent with this objective. It is the policy of WCU to promote civility and mutual respect and to prohibit violence in the university community.

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Prohibited Employee Conduct

It is a violation of this policy for an employee to:

1. Engage in university community violence as defined herein; or

2. Use, possess or threaten to use an unauthorized weapon during a time covered by this policy, in violation of University Policy #91; or

3. Misuse authority in such a way that it violates this policy.

With regard to SPA employees, a violation of this policy shall be considered “unacceptable personal conduct” as provided in University Policy #78, Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for SPA Employees. Acts of violence, as defined herein, may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.  An act of off-duty violent conduct may also be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal; provided that WCU demonstrates that the disciplinary action is supported by the existence of a rational nexus between the type of violent conduct committed and the adverse impact on the employee’s or another employee’s ability to perform his/her assigned duties and responsibilities.

With regard to EPA non-faculty employees and faculty, a violation of this policy may subject the offending employee or faculty member to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, in accordance with the Employment Policies for University Employees Exempt from the State Personnel Act or the Faculty Handbook, as the case may be.

Employee Assistance Program

Western Carolina University participates in ComPsych GuidanceResources employee assistance program. ComPsych GuidanceResources provides support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. GuidanceResources is a Western Carolina University sponsored, confidential and provided at no cost to Western Carolina University employees or Western Carolina University dependents.

ComPsych Guidance Resources can provide assistance with:

 Confidential Counseling

o Stress, anxiety and depression

o Relationship conflicts

o Grief and loss

o Substance abuse

 Financial Information and Resources

o Getting out of debt

o Credit card or loan problems

o Tax questions

o Retirement planning

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 Legal Support and Resources

o Divorce and family law

o Debt and bankruptcy

o Civil and criminal actions

o Contracts

 Work-Life Solutions

o Child and elder care

o Moving and relocation

o Home repair

o Pet care

For more information regarding Western Carolina University employee assistance program please visit policy 107 at: http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/leadership/office-of-the-chancellor/university-policies/ numerical-index/university-policy-107.asp or call Human Resources at 828.227.7218

Prohibited Student Conduct

It is a violation of this policy for a student to:

1. Engage in university community violence as defined herein; or

2. Use, possess or threaten to use an unauthorized weapon during a time covered by this policy, in violation of University Policy #91; or

3. Violate any corresponding provision of the Code.

Violations of this policy by a student are considered “prohibited behavior” as defined by the Code and shall subject the offending student to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. The Division of Student Affairs administers disciplinary action for offending students.

http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/leadership/office-of-the-chancellor/university-policies/numerical-index/ university-policy-109.asp

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Crime Prevention and Safety Awareness Programs

Crime prevention and safety awareness is a collaborative effort between the community members of Western Carolina University and Public Safety. The Western Carolina University Police Department is dedicated to promoting the safety and security of its residents with teamwork, cooperation, and by providing programs designed to enhance personal safety.

Rape Aggression DefenseThe Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. It is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. RAD is not a martial arts program. Our courses are taught by certified RAD instructors and provide a workbook/reference manual. This manual outlines the entire physical defense program for reference and continuous personal growth. The RAD System of Physical Defense is currently being taught at many Colleges and Universities. The growing, widespread acceptance of this system is primarily due to the ease, simplicity and effectiveness of our tactics, solid research, and unique teaching methodology. The RAD Systems is dedicated to teaching women defensive concepts and techniques against various types of assault, by utilizing easy, effective and proven self-defense tactics. Our system of realistic defense will provide a woman with the knowledge to make an educated decision about resistance.

Personal Safety AwarenessOutreach provided by the University Police Department that reviews personal safety, risk reduction, online safety, and bystander intervention.

Campus Safety and Shots Fired Training - Presented by the University Police and Emergency Services Department. Campus safety and shots fired provide resources, instruction, and guidance in the event that you are confronted with an active shooter or other life-threatening situations.

Project IDThe Project ID program serves two primary functions in that it brings awareness to the campus community regarding larcenies and supports law enforcement in the recovery of lost or stolen items. 

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Project ID presentations typically offer on-site tools to allow for personal identification of belongings.  A web-based program called “Report It” is also utilized.  This website (https://reportit.leadsonline.com/) serves as a civilian property inventory system.   This website is free of charge and allows users to document and store identifying information about personal belongings. 

Presenters of Project ID offer attendees the opportunity to engrave valuable belongings during the program.  The presenters encourage use of the “Report IT” webpage in conjunction with item engraving.  Users of “Report IT” can print an organized document of items that have been lost/stolen that can be given to a law enforcement officer for better identification of property.

Department of Student Community Ethics

The Department of Student Community Ethics administers the student conduct process for Western Carolina and works to support an honest and responsible community. Under the process, students are held accountable for adhering to established community standards as laid out in the Student Handbook, Community Creed and Western Carolina’s Code of Student Conduct.  Student Community Ethics strives to adjudicate cases of alleged misconduct in a fair, responsible and timely manner emphasizing WCU’s core values of respect, trust and integrity. The student conduct process is intended to be educational in its nature and allow students to learn from any incidents that they may have been involved in. Additionally, the Department of Student Community Ethics staff provides programming related to Academic Integrity, Alcohol and Drug Education and a variety of other programming efforts across campus.

The Department of Student Community Ethics is located in Scott Hall in the Student Affairs Office Suite and can be contacted at 828.227.7234

Western Carolina University Community Creed

 I will live by high standards of personal integrity.

 I will embrace my responsibilities as a member of this community.

 I will respect the rights and the well-being of others.

 I will engage myself in the artistic, cultural and academic life of my University.

 I will celebrate and express pride in Western Carolina University.

http://www.wcu.edu/student-life/division-of-student-affairs/departments/student-community-ethics/ http://www.wcu.edu/student-life/division-of-student-affairs/departments/student-community-ethics/ code-of-student-conduct.asp

Missing Student Notification Policy

Western Carolina University regards the safety and security of the members of our Campus Community as the highest priority. Therefore, the missing student notification policy contains the official notification procedures for Western Carolina University concerning missing students who reside in on-campus housing, in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). The purpose of the missing student notification policy is to promote the safety and welfare of members

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of the university community through compliance with HEOA requirements and should be adhered to by all WCU faculty, staff, and students.

A student may be considered “missing” when his or her location is unknown and unexplainable for a period of time that is regarded by knowledgeable parties as highly unusual or suspicious in consideration of the student’s usual behavior patterns, plans or routines or for more than 24 hours as defined in the missing student notification policy. If a member of the University community has reason to believe that a student who resides in on-campus housing is missing, he or she should immediately notify Western Carolina University Police at 828.27.8911 and the University Police will generate a missing person report and initiate an investigation.

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Notice to Students about Missing Student Notification Policy

 Confidential Contact Registration. In addition to registering emergency contacts, students residing in on-campus housing have the option to register a different individual to serve as the confidential contact who will be notified by WCU no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing. Confidential Contact Registration is federally required for all on-campus housing students, however, Western Carolina University provides that option to all registered students.

 Information to Students under the Age of 18. If a student who is under the age of 18 and not emancipated is determined to be missing in accordance with this policy, WCU is required to notify a custodial parent or legal guardian no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.

 UPD Notification of Confidential Contact. Missing person’s reports will be immediately referred to the WCU University Police Department (“UPD”) for investigation. If UPD has been notified and makes a determination that a student in residence has been missing for more than 24 hours and has not returned to campus, WCU will initiate the missing persons contact procedures in accordance with the student’s designation.

Students who wish to identify a confidential contact can do so by completing the appropriate registration forms through MyCat. A student’s confidential contact information will be accessible only by authorized campus officials and law enforcement in the course of the investigation.

The University Police Department will have primary investigative responsibility for students residing on campus. In the event a missing person report involves a student who does not reside in on-campus housing, University Police will assist the primary law enforcement agency having jurisdiction. During the course of the investigation, University Police will determine if the student has been missing, as that term is defined in this policy, for more than 24 hours. University Police will conduct the investigation utilizing law enforcement best practices including but not limited to:

 Interviews of friends, family, faculty, staff, and classmates;

 Entry of missing person information into state and federal databases of missing persons;  Notification to other local law enforcements agencies;

 Physical searches of the WCU campus; and  Inquiries to local hospitals.

Additional information regarding the Missing Person Protocol can be accessed at http://www.wcu.edu/ student-life/division-of-student-affairs/student-concern-response-team/what-is-a-student-concern/ helping-students/missing-person-notification-protocol.asp

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Registration of a Confidential Contact

To register your missing person contact please go to personal services in MyCat

Student Tab

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Western Carolina University’s Response to Sexual and Gender Violence

Western Carolina University is committed to eradicating sexual violence in our campus community through guidance and education; involvement; enforcement of policy; and enforcement of law. Western Carolina University is committed to creating and maintaining a campus environment free of all forms of sexual violence, harassment, exploitation, or assault. We need your help to be successful.

Western Carolina University is dedicated to providing a safe learning and working environment, and in compliance with federal law has adopted policies and procedures to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual violence including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. These guidelines apply to all students, faculty, staff, contractors, and visitors.

It is important to know what sexual violence crimes are, because in many cases, victims do not realize that they have been victimized. Additionally, crimes of this nature are very difficult for victims to report for a number of very complex reasons. We provide the following information to assist those victims who may have been victims of sexual assault or who have a friend who has been sexually assaulted.

Reporting an Incident

If a student, employee or visitor has been the victim of an incident of sexual violence they should immediately report it to the Western Carolina University Police Department at 828.227.8911 or 114 East University Way, Cullowhee, NC, 28723 if the victim chooses.

Filing a police report with the University Police Department will not obligate the victim to pursue prosecution, nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgmental opinions. Filing a police report with the University Police will:

 Ensure that a victim of sexual assault receives the necessary medical treatment and tests, at no expense to the victim;

 Provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution, which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing prior to a medical/legal exam);

 Assure the victim has access to free confidential counseling from counselors specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention.

The victim should never be forced to engage in counseling or talk to any third party. The victim will seek help when he/she is ready to do so. Sexual violence leaves the victim with a sense of a loss of control; giving the control back to the victim is a critical step in the healing process. However, the victim is informed of the mental health resources available to them through the University as well as in the community.

Western Carolina University must take immediate and appropriate action to investigate, protect the complainant, and stop the alleged sexual violence. Further, once a Campus Security Authority learns of an instance of sexual violence, he/she must inform the University Police Department. The Campus Security Authority does not have the option to keep it a secret.

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